Global status report on NCDs 2014
reduce the economic beneﬁ ts for enterprises involved
in alcohol production and sale (4−7).
Labelling on alcoholic drinks may help consum-
ers to estimate their alcohol content and potentially
choose a drink with less alcohol. Nevertheless, a
study in Australia supports the view that standard
labelling of drinks, without other changes to packag-
ing and marketing, may serve to help young people
choose the strongest drink for the lowest cost (18).
Health warnings have been introduced to
inform consumers about the risks associated with
drinking alcohol and to stimulate reduced con-
sumption. However, international experience shows
that health warnings that are poorly visible or have
generic messages have a weak impact on drinking
behaviour (19). More recent studies recommend
direct, more visible and pictorial health warnings,
with due consideration of plain packaging for alco-
hol products, in order to in uence recall, percep-
tions and behaviours (20).
Models of a range of ﬁ scal policy scenarios from
a number of countries have indicated the high cost
e ectiveness of taxation and pricing policies in reduc-
ing hazardous drinking and alcohol-attributable
mortality, as well as in raising revenue (6,9,21,22).
Setting a minimum price per unit for alcohol in retail
sales can complement taxation measures and result
in health beneﬁ ts, as demonstrated in a statistical
model for England (21), and as supported by the
impact on alcohol consumption in one province of
Canada (22). A total of 154 WHO Member States
have some form of excise tax on beer, wine or spirits,
but the e ectiveness of these measures in protecting
population health depends on their scale and their
impact on the demand for alcoholic beverages.
Drink-driving measures, such as random
breath-testing and setting and enforcing low limits
(0.02−0.05%) for blood-alcohol concentration are
e ective in reducing not only road tra c injuries
but also alcohol consumption by drivers. us,
these measures have potential to improve popula-
tion health outcomes associated with NCDs.
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